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SBIR/STTR

Six-Axis Force-Torque Transducer for Mars 2018 Mission, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

A transducer element that is hearty enough for a Mars lander mission needs to be developed so that a six-axis force and torque transducer is possible. The technical objectives are: 1. A transducer element capable of surviving temperatures from -135?C to +125?C. 2. The transducer element in objective 1 with temperature compensation to minimize span and offset drift from -80°C to +70?C. 3. The transducer element in objective 2 constructed so that it will sense properly in an atmospheric vacuum of 1E-5 torr. 4. The transducer element in objective 3 made of low-outgassing materials that are compatible with an interplanetary sample-collecting mission. 5. The transducer element in objective 4 instrumented with redundant sets of strain gages. In order to achieve the objectives, ATI Industrial Automation has divided the project into these tasks: * Six degree of freedom transducer design and fabrication, * Load fixture design and fabrication, * Instrumentation and temperature compensation of transducers - using semiconductor strain gages and - using metal-foil strain gages, * Calibration of instrumented beams and redundant instrumentation, * Performance characterization of both transducer instrumentation types at temperature and vacuum. More »

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